Review: Goodreader by GoodiWare (universal binary)
Goodreader by Good.iWare
- Good universal connectivity app
- Will read/open many different file types
- Doesn’t automatically sync across devices
One of the problems with all the different programs and the cloud is that you almost need an encyclopedia to keep track of all the different kinds of files, and you need a huge array of programs to view each file. Goodreader is one potential solution to that problem.
In my job I sometimes travel a fair amount, and so I make good use of dropbox to be able to access files on the go. However, I still need an app to open my files in word, excel, pdf, or any other format. Goodreader attempts to make that process easier but acting as a universal “reader” app. The app bills itself as a PDF reader, but it goes beyond PDFs. You can view files in most formats that I tried – including the mainstays of excel and word files. You can even use it to view zipped files, image files, and more. Keep in mind it is not an editor, you can’t edit or modify them, but if all you want to do is access them for information, Goodreader is a go-to tool.
Figure 1. Link to most cloud-based storage systems.
Good reader really excels in PDF viewing, however. In addition to viewing PDF’s, you can annotate them (highlight, freehand draw, arrows, etc), you can digitally sign them, merge them, extra separate pages, and do just about anything else you can think of. It even has a text-to-speech engine to read a PDF and TXT file. If you have a large file – no problem. The rendering engine has had no difficulty opening and viewing large, 100+ page PDF’s that I have used in various meetings.
Figure 2. View (but not edit) most file type, including excel files like my list of Magic cards.
Goodreader is able to connect to most of the cloud-based storage systems – Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, box.com are some of the more common ones. As I use dropbox and Goodreader on my iPad, it means I hardly ever have to bring a computer or pen drive to a meeting or conference anymore. You can create your own file structure on the app, so sort and categorize any files you download from the cloud. You can also set up an auto-sync with cloud services so any changes you made are automatically saved. As with most apps, you can also choose to copy a file from Goodreader to another app, and you copy files from another app to Goodreader as well.
Figure 3. Full features PDF annotating, including digital signatures, is available.
One thing Goodreader doesn’t do is sync across devices. It is a universal app, so I have it on both my iPhone and my iPad. If I download a file to my iPhone, it doesn’t automatically sync that to my iPad device. This means that you basically need to use one device as your main “Goodreader” device, otherwise you will find yourself going back and forth copying files. However, if you have the files set to autosync with dropbox (or something similar) and both files are on your devices, then a change in one will appear changed in the other. While it doesn’t automatically sync, you can use a wifi based networking to transfer files as well.
Figure 4. Create a filing system, or just dump all files together (like I did)
All in all, Goodreader is one of the few apps on my devices that I consider “undeletable”. As an all purpose file reader, it is great. As a PDF viewer, it is amazing. Combining Goodreader with a cloud service means that you can view just about any file you may have, no matter what the file format. As a universal binary for $4.99, this app is absolutely worth the purchase price. Four and a half out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks